The Sacramento Kings managed to hold on to this one, as they returned home. The Kings did something they have been unable to do all season; they withstood the questionable calls, and withstood the loss of Demarcus Cousins. The Kings closed out a game against a good team, and never seemed to be bothered by any of the calls, or overall tempo of the game, even as DeMarcus Cousins made a horrible decision as he continued to show questionable traits.
Tyreke Evans continued to play well as he almost seemed to be possessed in the second half when he scored 21 of his 27 points. Evans added five assists as well as two steals. Jason Thompson had an effective outing scoring 16 points and grabbing nine rebounds. The veteran play of Aaron Brooks and John Salmons once again played a key role in the outcome of tonight’s game.
As a Kings fan, I have always been big on Demarcus Cousins and still see the tremendous potential he has. Yet, while I am not questioning my faith in him as a player or a person, i as many can see that something has to change. Cousins has perhaps more potential the Kings have ever seen at the center position. But if Cousins want to ever realize his potential, he needs to learn to simply keep his mouth shut. It is not a rude or hard thing to say, Cousins has developed a poor reputation around the league, and amongst officials. Teams have practically made it known that they game-plan for Cousins. Pau Gasol couldn’t have been more obvious as I witnessed him last Wednesday as he regularly poked nudged, and did anything he could to get Cousins to react.
Perhaps the answer is no longer trying to simply reason with Cousins when it comes to the officiating. While anyone would say that the Kings have seen their fair share of poor officiating, Cousins might try a simple idea. Take a note from fromer Kings great Vlade Divac, you have to know how to respect and talk to the officials. Some officials would prefer you not talk to them in the first place, so as Cousins has made his opinions of the officiating since his first game in the NBA has to realize that at this point, his only thing he could do is stop talking to the officials. Even if Cousins decided to not talk to an official for 20 games, it wouldn’t mean he could never speak to an official again. Cousins needs to learn to simply keep his opinions of the calls between his couches and himself.
While the Kings pulled away with a victory, they must realize that tonight’s game was far from perfect. The Kings were out rebounded 37-38, and lost the assist battle 23-19. The Kings most alarming statistic is their free-throw shooting percentage of 68.8 percent. While this isn’t the worst the team has shot, before the Tyreke Evans five straight made free throws, the team had been shooting better from the field then from the free-throw line. The Kings also turned the ball over 14 times, and while it isn’t the worst number, they will not win very many road games with 14 or more turnovers.